[critical] BODYBUILDER

Strange film, the third feature film by Roschdy Zem : BODYBUILDER begins and ends as an effective feel-good-movie in the Us… Yet, it hides literally a different movie, much more interesting !

History : Anthony has fucked up with a bunch of dealer premises – Lyonnais. He owes them a lot of money and had to go into exile in order not to be beaten.

He decides in spite of himself to join his father in la Talaudière hole lost to Saint-Étienne. It holds a lounge, gym or he trained hard for the competition bodybuilder senior.

BODYBUILDER offers an introduction as effective as’ unlikely : Roschdy Zem introduced the character of Antoine (Vincent Rottiers) via a plot (ultimate and spectacular ; one has the impression that he wants to create empathy with Anthony by the sensational… which is a shame, because it characterizes from the outset the different characters presented, through their interactions with the environment. As well, Antoine, his family and the mafia, are defined by the suburbs of Lyon : socially difficult and violent, but mostly too cinematic… And, therefore, less credible.

Fortunately, at the first appearance of Vincent, the father of Antoine, the film takes on other trappings.

Settles upon his arrival, a description highly precise in the daily life of this impressive man. His training daily, rigid, up to accurately calculate its power… His relationship with Leah (Marina Foïs, excellent of sobriety). His interactions with the members of his gym, but for the most bodybuilders also : Roschdy Zem with the intelligence to leave them relatively consistent in its history. Himself, is a touching character coach, no good or bad role, but motivated precisely by the override of the other. These bodybuilders inspire quickly a huge sympathy, by the power of their will. As a sub-text, the deformation voluntary body is suggested as traumatic, always related to an event, or a desire to prove something to his entourage…

It is by the description of this world unique that begins the immersion in the film. Roschdy Zem is actually documented on the subject, and it shows : this is exciting !


The other aspect of success, it is the relationship that develops between Anthony and Vincent.

BODYBUILDER confronts two worlds, that of dilettantism and rigour. Vincent and Antoine are on the screen, diametrically opposite : their world, but also their personalities : Vincent is charismatic, both physically and by the minimalism of its dialogues. Antoine is, to him, a small opportunistic, stupid and unpleasant, but clever. Antoine enters in spite of himself in the universe of Vincent, who also hosts in spite of himself. This assumption of father/son relationship is particularly touching : first, it contrasts with the spectacular dimension of the beginning of the film : the pace too intense, is opposed to the observation, the taming. Then, Roschdy Zem manages to capture the violence and the sweetness of exchanges, while non-expressed. And then finally, Antoine, as the viewer discovers the universe (exciting – we repeat) bodybuilders. It does not integrate, but rather encompass it and understand it, and thus get closer to his father.

Roschdy Zem cache in the middle of a show is effective, but without any flavour, an exciting film – limits documentary on bodybuilders, as well as a father/son relationship touching, as there is little in common.”

The transcendence suggested by the awful poster for the film, it’s Vincent – Yolin François Gauvin – who embodies, and not his son.

It is perhaps here that the major flaw of the film : a gradual change in the accuracy of a universe in the characterisation of the different protagonists in the same universe, and this, just for show.

Thus, in the same way as at the beginning, the spectacular was present, but prevented the immersion, to the conclusion of the story, an improbable too-much narrative annihilates somehow these characters gradually and delicately built. The excess is certainly empathy, but remains calculated and predictable… such a Shame.

Finally, how not to note the overall quality of the interpretation.

Vincent Rottiers is not spoiled by the character ungrateful of Antoine, but embodies with gusto – just as every actress and actor with the role that is attributed to him.

However, Yolin François Gauvin is the center, the main interest of the film. Former bodybuilder whose here it is, the first film role, the actor humanizes Vincent, character-characterized, and transcends the straitjacket film of the type that outperforms. This is not only due to his charisma muscle undeniable. It is also because he IS an excellent interpreter, which understands its role and what to bring him – with precision. We hope to see him again in other roles, even if it seems improbable.

In short, a BODYBUILDER is more interesting than it seems. Roschdy Zem cache in the middle of a show is effective, but without any flavour, an exciting film – limits documentary on bodybuilders, as well as a father/son relationship touching, as there is little in common.


Original title : Bodybuilder

Achievement : Roschdy Zem

Scenario : Julie Peyr, Roschdy Zem

Main actors : Vincent Rottiers, Yolin François Gauvin, Marina Foïs, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Roschdy Zem..

Country of origin : France

Released : October 1, 2014

Duration : 1h44min

Distributor : Mars Distribution

Synopsis : In Lyon, Antoine, twenty years ago, has been put back to a strip of small shots that he owes the money. Tired of his trafficking of all kinds, his mother and his big brother decided to send him to Saint-Etienne at the home of his father, Vincent, he has not seen for many years. Upon his arrival, Antoine discovers that Vincent holds a weight room, that he took up bodybuilding and he prepares intensively for a competition of bodybuilding. The reunion between the father and the son, that all objects, are difficult and tense. Vincent will still accept Antony works for him to help him get out of the mess in which it is placed. For his part, Antoine will gradually learn to discover and respect the life that his father has chosen.

Category: Uncategorized

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